January 27, 2024
Aryna Sabalenka sent a kiss to the sky after finally closing out this one-sided contest with her fifth match point.
Resistance was futile. She has claimed back-to-back Australian Open titles in Melbourne after yet another ferocious showing and a 6-3, 6-2 triumph..
There’s a reason why she had a tiger tattooed on her left forearm and adopted a nickname to suit.
The tiger pounced almost immediately and with a terrible precision.
And that ruthless ferocity proved too much for Qinwen Zheng, despite the best efforts of the new Chinese superhero.
Zheng did seem to lay foundations for a fightback towards the end of the first and second sets. But she was neutralised as soon as Aryna identified the threat.
Sabalenka can be tamed. But it requires a persistent and nerveless courage that is only rarely demonstrated by opponents.
Zheng double-faulted at key moments because she feared the contemptuous treatment her second serve would receive, just as Coco Gauff was forced into similar gambles earlier in the tournament.
To see the awesome power unleashed by Sabalenka close up is one of the most astonishing sights in world sport these days.
Aryna Sabalenka on Centre Court at Wimbledon 2024 will take the breath away.
And the crowd in Melbourne was often stunned into gasps of admiration.
The sizeable Chinese contingent mostly fell silent as they came to terms with the fate of their latest representative.
There was no disgrace in defeat – and yet Zheng may feel she could have given a better account of herself on the big occasion.
Sometimes in sport, however, you just have to recognise that there was only ever going to be one winner in a tournement.
That winner at the Australian Open of 2024 was the outstanding Aryna Sabalenka – and we salute her.
Come and see Aryna Sabalenka at Wimbledon 2024 – her power is mind-blowing.
We’ll get you some of the best seats on Centre Court to bring you as close to Sabalenka’s power as it is safe to be.
Wimbledon 2024 will be something special. Don’t miss out on the history and glamour of our beautiful sport’s most prestigious tournament..